Question about Canon SPEEDLITE 580EX TTL Flash

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Inconsistent flash I have a 550 Ex speedlite used with an ST-E2 transmitter. Sometimes the flash will not go off, even though i know it seems the angle that the two must aline in is very specific (ie the speedlite sensor to transmitter sensor...but the flash will go off several times, then 2 totally black, then a few exposed,then blank repeat... I thought maybe it was the rechargeable batteries, but even using brand new alkaline AA has the same problem. also taking repeat shots with same settings will result in totally different flash exposure (mainly the second will be 2 to 3 stops darker). i've tested everything possible as far as settings, and i recently replaced the transmitter with the same ST-E2 (first one stolen) and all have the same results. this makes me think, if this is an equipment failure, it is more likely to be the speedilte and not the transmitter. Also a friend of mine tried to sync my flash with another, and my 550EX would pop almost 2 seconds later-meaning it won't sync with another flash! Please ..if you have any advice or tips or thoughts that may help me i will be forever grateful!. Whenever I take equipment in to the camera store, they press the test button and say,"It works for me!" and act like I'm stupid. But when it works, it works beautifully. It just won't all the time. Oh, I use a Canon 20D if that matters. thanks.thanks. G

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  • stormy23 Nov 11, 2008

    nope.

  • stormy23 Nov 12, 2008

    thanks for the advice. i will try the tests out and get back to you. but i have a feeling its just old and ready to die. i used it for about 300-500 shots  about 4 nights a week for the last 3 years, so i guess its about had it. it does look like its been to Iraq a couple times!
    I am shooting ETTL, and use a flash dome a lot of times, using Lithium batteries.


    are you saying that if I used  the Quantum Turbo Battery with cable this problem wouldnt happen? 


    I don't understand what you mean here: "Don't get this repair, just use this as your Master. "


    Thanks for your time and help...I will get back to you and let you know how it goes.
    Sincerely
    G

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Is it working now?

atdlee@netzero.com

Posted on Nov 11, 2008

  • Alexander Lee Nov 12, 2008

    Hi Stormy23,



    You have a problem with the 550EX flash.

    Did you used with a Gary's or white dome over the flash and you were shooting ETTL modes, right?

    Most likely is the largest capacitor is on the way out or leads are corroded.

    First, try switching to different number on the flash for slave setting.

    Second, you are using 4 Energizer Lit. Batteries, not Nickel-Metal Hydride, right?



    Set camera to ASA/ISO100

    Set camera to aperature 11, shutter at 125.

    550's head in Vertical with dome or without. Or whatever you were using.

    Place subject at 7 feet. Head pointing at subject. Sensor at camera with good line of site.

    Place 550's IR sensor at 10 feet from the ST-E2 with camera.

    550 pointing right at the ST-E2 light.

    Place a miror in back of the 550, so you can see the Green Light.

    Press the Shutter or ST, does 550 flash?

    How long until 550 turn back to Green?

    Record.

    Fire and look for Green Light and wait after 5 seconds. Then fire or press shutter button.

    Record for 55 flashes.



    Your 550 is over 6 years old. Who knows how long it was sitting at Canon and then to dealer.



    430/550/580 and Nikon flashes are not made to recycle in DC but AC. Using most with DC will weaken the DC circuits.



    If you have the Quantum Turbo Battery with the right cable for your flash, you won't run into that problem. Except burning and melting your head flash by shooting without resting in ETTL, that's due to that the power is 330 High Voltage going straight into the flash.

    Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony's flashes are not made like the Metz 60/70 series and QFlashes.



    Don't get this repair, just use this as your Master.

    Sell your ST-E2 and buy another flash. And use the new flash for Slave.

    Unless you are willing to take the flash apart?



    Suggestions: All flashes should be fired at Full Manual after 26 weeks or ends of the day, so capacitor won't leak and go bad.

    It's like a lawnmower, you have gas in the tank and expect it to start right away next year. Maybe the first six years, but after that ..:-(

    Do some TLC:-)

    Please respond back to my email.



    Hope they are helpful.

    atdlee@netzero.com

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